A Goose on the Move
May 24, 2012

This is an involved story - please pay attention. Mik Storer (in Australian) designed the Oz Racer. Perttu (in Finland) modified that design and came up with the Ocean Explorer. When the idea of a Goose came along, they worked together to design the Ooze Goose - a 12' version of the Ocean Explorer. Rick L. (in Canada) made the first one, but never put it in the water. When Rick visited earlier this year, we got to talking, and it was decided I should take it on the Texas 200.

To sum up: This project involves 3 continents, 2 designers, 1 builder, and 1/2 a sailor.

Rick and I decided to meet halfway - around the town of Marysville, Wa, ~220 miles from home.

The first thing you need for a boat swap is a trailer. I borrowed one from longtime boating buddy (and fellow Texas 200 participant this year) David B. I like the flags - it helps drivers remember there is something between their front bumper and my rear bumper.

I picked up another boating buddy, Hal C., and we headed towards Seattle. As we neared Portland, it POURED rain on us.

Our meeting place was a empty lot near a Cabella's store. I've never seen a sporting goods store this big - that's a damnkiller whale chasing salmon in the rafters. Wait a minute, that's a funky looking welcome kiosk they have . . .

OK, two firsts for me on this trip: The giant sporting goods store, and the first store I've visited with a Firearms Check-in kiosk.

My first glimpse of an Ooze Goose. It has a very Canadian paint job, don't you thnk?

Oh oh oh! That's a BIG 12' boat.

Rick and Hal looking at some of the finer points of construction.

Boats, especially Goose type boats, are very personal constructs - one does not simply assume command of another's vessel without some time to acclimate. Rick had me check out the cabin lights and then showed me the rigging options he'd been considering.

And there it is, loaded up and ready for the trip - first to Oregon, then on to Texas. Rick's wife, Terry, was very happy to see the stern of the Ooze Goose. It turns out this is actually the second one Rick built - the first one had rotted away as it sat, unused, through a Canadian winter.

Interesting side story:
Rick said this was the easiest, best border crossing he'd made, even though he was committing egregious violations of border transportation etiquette: Transporting an un-papered, unregistered boat; Bringing across something he wasn't bringing back; and Meeting someone in Washington who doesn't live in Washington - It had all the appearance of a classic drug deal.

Instead of being locked in a little room and interrogated, he said the guard asked him "What kind of boat is that? Did you build it? Where are you going to sail it? TEXAS! That's amazing!" Then the guards in the other checkpoints started calling his booth asking the same questions.

The Ooze Goose: Breaking down international barriers at every stage of existence.